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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - April 04, 2011

From: Colleyville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Oak sprouts in flower bed in Colleyville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a raised flower bed in our back yard that includes 2 live oak trees. We have a TON of shoots that keep popping up and make our bed look very untidy. My husband doesn't think the shoots are from the tree and we should dig up the entire area of these shoots. Question: How do you best handle shoots -- they are taking over!

ANSWER:

This is a question we get fairly frequently. Please see this previous answer which seems to address your questions. And yet another previous answer on how to get rid of them. And here is the previous previous question mentioned in the second one. We haven't found a better way, nor changed our tune.

You might consider moving the flower bed. Then you could nip off suckers and/or mow without messing around with your flowers. A nice layer of mulch, maybe 2 inches (but not piled against the tree trunk) will make it look neater, but won't stop the suckers.

 

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